If you’ve ever experienced the effects of drinking too much alcohol, you’ll likely also know that it’s like borrowing happiness from the next day. This “borrowed happiness,” and the extreme lows that follow, can easily cause a domino effect which can eventually wreak havoc on your entire life. Alcohol abuse can have a huge impact on your body, mind, health and relationships around you, particularly over a long period.
Job loss and poverty
It’s no secret that in order to put food on the table, one has to go to work and fulfill certain household duties. Many people who abuse alcohol land up taking more time off from work than those who don’t. Eventually, all the extra time taken off – to recover or drink more – accumulates and either ends up in job loss, or affects one’s earning potential negatively.
Not only can drinking too much or too often end in job loss, but it can also lead to poor decisions which can also end up costing you a fortune. In some cases, one parent may even have to take full financial and household responsibility for the entire family, especially if the other parent passes away or can’t show up due to their habits. The strain that this puts on families will no doubt have its own further effects.
Aside from job loss and poor work performance, drinking can become an extremely expensive habit. Another concern are the medical bills that will no doubt start piling up as things get worse or spiral out of control.
The long-term effects of alcohol abuse can cause the relationships around you to suffer. We often think of the person that’s responsible for drinking, but sometimes we forget that it can be just as difficult for loved ones to live with or watch the person doing the damage.
riends and family may feel helpless and in some cases, to blame for the person’s drinking habits, despite trying their best to help. In these cases it’s vital that you reach out for help and guidance from a professional. Watching someone you love abuse their body – and possibly even physically turn abusive – can be extremely overwhelming. It’s a burden you shouldn’t have to carry alone.
One also has to consider that the long-term effects of alcohol can eventually lead to broken families. In some cases where both parents have difficulties surrounding alcohol abuse, a child could lose both their parents to either an alcohol-related accident, or because they are simply no longer safe with them.
Disease and illness
Drinking excessively over a long period of time eventually affects your heart, liver, brain, pancreas and more. For example, it is believed that binge drinkers are 39% more at risk of experiencing a stroke than those who drink less or don’t drink at all. It also weakens your heart over time, which makes it increasingly more difficult for your organs to get all the nutrients it needs in order to live a healthy life. Eventually, this may lead to diabetes or even heart failure.
Over years of abuse, your pancreas also becomes more vulnerable to pancreatitis, or even pancreatic cancer, which is difficult to treat. The liver is also greatly at risk, because it’s the organ that has to directly break down all the alcohol and toxins from your body each time you drink. Over time, this can lead to liver complications which can be life-threatening.
Of course, alcohol also affects our brain. Abusing alcohol over a long period of time can actually restructure our brain and interfere with how it works and performs. As the brain is essential when it comes to the communication between your body and mind, when alcohol damages parts of the brain, bodily functions are directly impacted, too.
This can result in memory loss and confusion that is sometimes permanent, as well as a loss of certain coordination like balance and certain movement. As the brain is also responsible for our emotions, how we process them can also be affected. Of course, years of alcohol abuse takes its toll on the entire body, meaning that you’re at a higher risk of a wide range of other medical issues not mentioned here, too.
Mental health disorders
Drinking too much not only impacts your physical health, but it has a huge influence on your mental state, too. When you are hungover, you tend to be less productive and spend a lot of time having regrets from the night before instead. This general feeling of unhappiness and lack of motivation to do anything that sober you would have done, can be extremely depressing.
You may have ambitions and goals to get healthy and fit, eat well or finally make it up that mountain you’ve always wanted to climb. However, in this depressive or anxious state, those healthy habits struggle to come to life – which can leave you feeling even more unfulfilled, stressed and overwhelmed.
Many people drink to feel happy and combat these negative emotions, which means they may relapse before they even get the chance to start anew. It’s a vicious cycle that’s incredibly difficult to break, which is why nobody should ever feel ashamed to ask for help or advice if they find themselves in that position.